Thursday, 13 August 2009
The ending of summer for me is always signalled by the Mountain Ash (Rowan) berries ripening. We have a beautiful tree we got free from the Borough Council as a "whip" many years ago. But I have to be quick to photograph the berries before the blackbirds and other birds strip it clean!
The big contoneaster is next to ripen, but that doesn't get eaten until a bit later - apparently the berries have to get a bit riper for the birds' tastes!
The sloes are beginning to get ripe now. We saw big bushes of them on a walk at the weekend. I have never made sloe gin, though I am assured it is delicious - it involves a lot of pricking, shaking and whatever - seems like a lot of hard work to me! But I do remember picking loads of sloes when my daughter wanted to make dye with them. It was quite an undertaking, picking, cooking, straining and then dyeing the wool. But it came out a beautiful colour - I craved a sweater in that deep purplish wool!
I like autumn - maybe because I was born then. But I also regret the end of summer. The end of any season has a lot of sadness about it. Wistfulness because of what I failed to do, and there is no more time, sadness for the dying gardens which have given so much pleasure. I rather dread the cold and damp that our winters seem to produce. Summer is so short, winter so long and drawn out.
But we can never go back, so I will enjoy whatever summer's ending brings, look forward to autum, and hope for sparkling winter days!